Hartlepool’s charity cabbie hopes to be named UK’s best

Hartlepool cabbie Stephen Picton is down to the last three in the Taxi Driver of the Year competition.
Hartlepool cabbie Stephen Picton is down to the last three in the Taxi Driver of the Year competition.

HE’S raised more than £50,000 for charity, recorded a single with more than 8,000 YouTube hits - and now Stephen Picton is in the running to be crowned the UK’s best cabbie.

The popular 42-year-old is down to the last three in the Swinton Taxi Division’s Cabbie of the Year 2013 competition - which was won by fellow Hartlepool taxi driver, John Osborne, last year.

And Stephen, who has hit the headlines on a number of occasions due to his outstanding charity efforts, said: “It just proves taxi drivers in Hartlepool are the very best.

“To have the winner last year and for me to get to the last three this year, it’s a huge honour for me to make the top three but I would love to walk away with the title.”

The madcap cabbie was nominated for the competition by his wife, Sandy.

As well as raising more than £50,000 for charity before his 40th birthday, Stephen’s cancer awareness version of Thom Pace’s hit Maybe, which is the theme tune from the Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, became an internet hit. He also kickstarted a fundraising campaign to send terminal cancer sufferer Jean Steel on her dream trip to Blackpool in 2008.

Stephen is hoping his impressive list of fundraising feats helps him to be crowned champion at the Private Hire and Taxi Monthly Exhibition at EventCity in Manchester next Wednesday with the winner driving away with £1,000 and a year’s free taxi insurance.

The dad-of-four who lives in the Blakelock Road area of Hartlepool, said: “You don’t know what the other finalists have done so it’s hard to say how I think I’ll do, it would be fantastic to win it though.”

Steve Roberts, of Swinton Taxi Division, said: “Stephen showed all the criteria that we are looking for in our Cabbie of the Year finalists.

“Not only is he committed to raising such large amounts for charity, but he regularly puts others ahead of himself especially, and his heartfelt dedication those in need really made him stand out from this year’s entrants.”